Nasal or oral oil application on infants: a possible risk factor for adult bronchiectasis

Eur J Epidemiol. 1995 Apr;11(2):141-4. doi: 10.1007/BF01719478.


Lipid pneumonia has been observed in infants exposed by inhalation of oil or butter applied into the nose or throat as part of an old custom. We performed a case-control study to test the hypothesis, that this ancient tradition may be a predisposing factor to bronchiectasis. A case group of 59 patients with bronchiectasis and three control groups -46 patients with COPD, 32 asthmatics, and 71 healthy Saudis-were questioned about possible risk factors of bronchiectasis including nasal or oral application of oil/butter at infancy. The risk of witnessed exposure to this old folk remedy was significantly higher among the cases than the controls (OR = 3.9 (1.7-8.8), (95% confidence interval) p < 0.001). Application of oil or butter into the nasal or oral cavity of infants may be a risk factor for bronchiectasis.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intranasal
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / adverse effects
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Bronchiectasis / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Culture
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / etiology
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Middle Aged
  • Oils / administration & dosage*
  • Oils / adverse effects*
  • Pneumonia, Lipid / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Smoking / adverse effects


  • Air Pollutants
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Oils